SRINAGAR: Hours after State chapter of BJP authorized party president Amit Shah and central leadership to take a final call on forming coalition government with any of the two regional parties in the State, senior leader of saffron party Ram Madhav met a top PDP leader and MP in the Valley on Thursday evening, first official communication between the two parties on forging an alliance.
Sources said BJP vice president and general secretary Ram Madhav accompanied by some party leaders met PDP’s senior leader and MP Muzaffar Hussain Baig at a Hotel Grand Palace in Srinagar this evening.
“Madhav and Baig discussed government formation after fractured mandate given by the people in the recently-concluded Assembly elections in the State,” they said.
The meeting, first official communication between the two parties, lasted for more than an hour.
Before the meeting, Baig had suggested party leaders that Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should meet PM Narendra Modi on government formation.
“Before making his suggestion public, Baig may have talked to some BJP leaders,” sources said.
BJP MP and Incharge J&K Affairs Avinash Khanna told Express that they are hopeful that government formation in the State will be completed soon.
Before meeting Baig, Ram Madhav held a meeting with separatist-turned-mainstream politician and Peoples Conference chairman Sajjad Gani Lone at his Sanat Nagar residence, here.
“The BJP leaders sought Sajjad’s views on which of the two parties – PDP and NC, he seems to be comfortable with,” sources said.
Sajjad has won election from Handwara seat while another of his party man has won polls from Kupwara constituency.
With two seats in his kitty, Sajjad’s Peoples Conference has emerged as key player in government formation. If he aligns with PDP, then party can easily form the government with support of Congress and three independent legislators.
However, Sajjad is close to BJP as before conduct of Assembly elections in the State, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, held discussions on forging post-poll alliance and described Modi as his elder brother.
Earlier, in the day, BJP’s newly elected 25 legislators authorized party president Amit Shah and central leadership to decide the future course of action on government formation in the State.
“The State party leadership and newly elected legislators have authorized party president Amit Shah and central leadership to decide the future course of action on government formation in the State,” senior BJP leader and union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley told reporters in Jammu this afternoon.
He alongwith senior party leader Madhav Ram and MoS PMO Dr Jitendra Singh held one-to-one meetings with newly elected BJP members and State leaders in the winter capital today to seek their views on their choice of alliance partner for government formation in the State in view of fractured mandate given by people.
Jaitley said there are no two opinions among the party legislators on the strategy to be adopted and there is a general consensus that government should be formed.
“BJP has got higher popular votes in the State but PDP has more seats. We got overwhelming mandate in Jammu by winning 25 out of 37 seats while there is divided mandate in the Valley, where PDP got 25, NC 12, Congress 4 and others 5,” he said.
“We will move forward in government formation on three vital principles -- national sovereignty, development and regional balance. When we think larger national/state interests are going to be satisfied, we will form the government,” he said.
Jaitley said they have got several options in their kitty. “We have to evolve strategy whether we should ‘wait and watch’ or go for active consultation. We have to strategist how to form government and where to sit in Legislative Assembly.
Earlier, in the day, there were rumours that Omar Abdullah, NC working president has met Ram Madhav, who, however, termed such reports as “baseless”.
In a related development, Congress said the party is ready to forge an alliance with PDP to keep communal parties at bay.
“Congress is ready to support PDP in the formation of a stable government in the State. Congress has 12 MLAs and support of four other members to make PDP reach its magical figure of 44, required for the formation of a government,” Congress spokesman Salman Nizami said.
State Congress chief Saif-ud-Din Soz said it is a worrying situation in which certain power hungry –political groups and individuals are trying to subvert the democratic verdict of the people of the State.
“As is common knowledge and perception, a suave, experienced and forward -looking politician like Mufti Mohammad Sayeed should be allowed to lead a Coalition Government in the State with the support of other likeminded parties/groups,” he said adding that way alone the people’s verdict would truly be respected.